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New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price.
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Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade on 03/31/2012 20:09:00 MDT Print View

EDIT: Update: Ok so a few people have decide to drag this project back from the dead. ;)

I've gotten some PM's requesting some of these. The original run ended up only being a small handful, and I never posted final pics, but Mr. Evans was kind enough to post a review and some photos at:

I'll leave some of the original post for posterity, and because I don't want to retype an explanation.

Price is $100 shipped, for the cordwrapped, sheathed version. I'll try to come up with some alternative sheaths, but for now, it's kydex. $80 for the stand-alone blade. $90 without cord.

I never settled on a UL sheath I liked, but as mentioned, these can be safely carried a number of ways, as they're not as "finger sharp" as a steel edge. I admit it sucks to have a sheath that weighs almost as much as the knife, although it's still a 15gram package. I do still have some ideas for other options.

I'm *NOT* taking upfront payment on these. My schedule is chaotic, and I can't handle the stress of owing people products they've already paid for, so if you are interested in one, just PM or email me, I'll make a list, and contact you when I've got a batch ready.

Anybody I promised one before that I never sent one, let me know.

se tss scapel

OLD POST; edited.
It's about time right?

New from me, TSS Ti Field Scapel.

This is self sharpening, chisel ground, industrially carbide impregnated' titanium utility knife, which requires little or no maintenance, excels at cutting tasks, and weighs roughly 8grams.

OAL is 5", 0.5" wide, 0.063 thick.

The pictures following show the final proto, which was hand ground out of 0.075 6al4v Titanium, and weighs 9g. The production pieces will be waterjet out of 0.063 6al4v, and weigh a little less. The edge bevels will be hand ground by me, and the carbide spark deposited also by me, using a very expensive industrial spark depositor made by Electro Arc corp. While some of you may be familiar with hobby carbidizer units, and their poor performance, rest assured that the results from the industrial machines are nothing similar. This unit will deposit a single pass layer of tungsten or titanium carbide of 25 micron, where as the small units are at best around 2 micron. On the max setting, this machine sparks like a mig welder.

This blade as mentioned, is self sharpening, due to the single side deposition of carbide, and the chisel grind, which implements the so called "beaver tooth" effect. The softer titanium wears down at a higher rate than the thin layer of ultra hard carbide, which exposes the carbide layer, creating a micro serated edge. In fact, the sharpness will increase after use from the initial grind.

These blades are microserrated and work extremely well for cutting tasks, slicing, cutting rope, bags, sticks, clothes, food, etc, however are not a substitute for a steel blade where impact use is required. These blades are not suitable for batoning or axe type chopping, and won't be warranted against such abuse.

scapel 1

scapel 2

Edited by jdempsey on 09/22/2013 13:35:33 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 03/31/2012 20:13:58 MDT Print View

BTW those pics were taken with my tablet unfortunately. If it looks dirty, its the camera, the blade is actually heat colored, but its not showing worth a crap in the photos. I'll try to get better photos tomorrow.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/01/2012 11:56:03 MDT Print View

I got an email asking about durability of these. I've been using the first test piece for nearly two years, almost daily. Its still going strong. However, if for some reason they wore out from normal use (not abuse), I will replace them.

Edited by jdempsey on 04/01/2012 12:21:43 MDT.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Razor blade on 04/01/2012 12:19:42 MDT Print View

I'll drop on in, just so you're not left in a vacuum... :)

Most knives are relatively multi-purpose. If you don't want the weight you'll probably end up with a standard razor blade (which is lighter still, and far far cheaper.)

So you have a relatively expensive single-usage product, but I'm unsure what pain-point/niche you're filling with it.

I don't care for the handle design, as there is no tang for wet environments. I could para-cord wrap it. Also the cutting surface is relatively small (your 'scalpel' analogy is good) which further limits use, pushing it more into direct competition with your basic razor blade. I don't know the metallurgical-aspects of the forging and such, so I cannot comment well on rockwell-levels or durability over time.

But it really comes down do: what would I use it for and does it have a place in my pack? Unfortunately, and especially for that price, I can't find one. =/


(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: Ti knife on 04/01/2012 12:19:43 MDT Print View

Cool knife, I would rather have a pointed blade rather than a tanto tip. I myself use a 50 cent paring knife that weighs 8g.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: RE: Ti knife on 04/01/2012 12:28:30 MDT Print View

Yep, its definitely a niche product. No arguement. A razor blade has its purpose in a minimal gear list, although I find these much more versatile. They're much more effective at cutting things like rope, stick ends, etc, and the handle is just long enough to get a good purchase on.

These aren't a replacement for a full sized fixed blade, but a great alternative to a small fixed or folder.

Those interested in a more traditionally shaped edge profile, Josh over at Ruta Locura is offering something along those lines.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Ti scapel on 04/01/2012 16:52:37 MDT Print View

Impressive, Javan! Will this be a short run or an ongoing product?


Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Ti scapel on 04/01/2012 19:23:42 MDT Print View

Everything from me is likely to be a short run, unless some other vendor decides to pick up the design.

Also, unless I get some commitments on some of these, it won't be a run at all. ;)

I know how particular our community is regarding edged tools, so maybe there isn't a place for these in it, although I find my user to be one of the most useful on a daily basis.

I've got enough tied up in this project that I've got to see some return or I'm scrapping it. Maybe I should stick to making knives for the appropriate user base.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Market Stagnation on 04/01/2012 22:42:27 MDT Print View

Responses to this same thread circa 2005:
So its 6 times thicker than a razor blade, and three times thicker than a paring knife, but still Ultra light, thats awesome!
I'll take 5, can I pay more for them?
So it will never rust, even in marine enviroments, thats just amazing!
Its semi self sharpening? My stainless blades wont hold an edge for $hit.
Made in the USA, thats what I like to see.

Javan, I think this must be some of that "market stagnation" I read about. Why didn't you foster some relationships with asian manufactures, have kids build them working overtime in China, get the price down, and sell UL to the masses. Rather than kicking out, one off, pieces of $hit, made from inferior materials, out of your gargage. Come on man, get a hair cut, shape up, and sell out, its 2012. Oh wait, no... you should have probably gone the kickstarter route, and secured a Made-in-USA prototyping-to-production process, that hard goods market is ripe for the taking, I mean no one has ever done that.

I think I know whats stagnate..........

Yep, I light my canister stove with a ferro rod, but a real knife, what would I use that for?

Anyway, I use obsidian, its all natural, light weight, and free....huh!

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/01/2012 22:47:47 MDT Print View

Tell us how you REALLY feel, Josh.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
feelings on 04/01/2012 22:49:44 MDT Print View

I was going to, but I didn't want to come off too rash.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: feelings on 04/01/2012 23:11:48 MDT Print View

Thanks Josh, you made my night man. ;)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: feelings on 04/02/2012 10:32:24 MDT Print View

Nice work. I think that's pretty cool. This may be a dumb question, but where on that blade is it sharpened? If I was looking at the pictures you posted, would it be the lower left half aswell as the left (angled) side? When I read the word scapel, it makes me think only the angled (short) side is sharp.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: feelings on 04/02/2012 13:02:12 MDT Print View

Stephen, that's not a dumb question at all, since apparently I was so focused on showing the carbidized side that I didn't post a pic of the sharpened side. I'll get one up in a bit, but its chisel ground on the opposite side following the carbides, so 1.5" long on the length of the blade, which leaves a short section of full material to get comfortable purchase with the index and thumb, and then of course also ground on the angle section.

A chisel grind with one side carbidized is the only way to get a strong enough edge geometry from such a thin cross section of material that won't cause excessive edge rolling, unlike some other offerings out there.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: Re: feelings on 04/02/2012 13:04:21 MDT Print View

BTW its the right side that's ground, if looking down on the blade in hand, which is appropriate for a right hand cut. I could easily accommodate the leftys though.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/02/2012 14:27:26 MDT Print View

Another advantage worth mentioning, these blades aren't dulled by cutting spectra/dyneema like steel is. Like cutting anything else, it just sharpens them.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/02/2012 20:47:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the explanation Javan. I got it now.

I have been using a derma-safe folding knife for years, weighs 8 grams, and I could use an upgrade, but I'm curious why you would stick to the basic rectangle design if you are getting it cut on a waterjet? Why not add a few bells and whistles like the the Ruta Locura blade? Not saying one is better than the other, I actually know very little about knives (but plenty about titanium) I'm just a sucker for cool shapes.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/03/2012 00:02:46 MDT Print View


You answered your own question, and it's late, so I'll only elaborate a bit. For me, and it's an obsession, form follows function. The evolution of curved edges, had evolved in conjunction with human evolution and human function. As one of the oldest tools of humanity, all aesthetic can be traced to either a) necessity of function, or b) consequence of construction.

Counter curved (hunter/skinner/drop) style blade profiles have gained primary predominance as a result of classic, survivalist, and regional function, along with a basic consequence of the physics of forged metal; I.e. forging edge bevels, causes an automatic curvature as the thicker cross-section flexes under the expansion of the thinning bevel. Stock removal wasn't an option during a time when material costs far outwrighed the value of extensive labor. Josh's design, facilitates those agendas perfectly, in a very efficient package; namely skinning game of various type, and other misc. hunting/fishing tasks, so why overlap?

I can't comment too heavily on the ubiquity of primary curvature in western blades, but I will point out that they're not universal, or in my opinion, *ideal* for most average cutting tasks.

As ubiquitous as the common curvature is, so is the recurve in other cultures, a geometry which has been demonstraited to be more effective at localized cutting/slicing numerous times over in objective testing.

Ask yourself; "What is the advantage of a curved blade for slicing "x"?" I doubt for 90% of tasks you can find an objective answer against a straight edge.

I have in fact, three more progressive designs of functionality, in succesively larger profile, already designed, but I chose to premiere the most versatile and minimal, due apparently to a misconception of communal reception. On top of that, if its not obvious already, I work synergystically with Ruta Locura, and found their skinner so ideal to task, that I saw zero need to envade the well covered territory. In fact I'll be working with them directly on the grind geometry and spark deposition of their offerings.

Woops, I got long winded anyway.... :/

Edited by jdempsey on 04/03/2012 00:07:22 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/03/2012 06:04:52 MDT Print View

Totally get it with the form follows function...

OK, so I'm sorta sold on one of these. I mean, someone's gotta bite, right? :)

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit skeptical on how sharp the blade is but you're a well known guy in this community and I suspect you wouldn't offer something that wasn't up to your standards (very high judging by your quilts). Plus I think it will be much more usable compared to the dermasafe at no real weight penalty.

I'll take one off your hands and get the ball rolling on this project.

Cody Lebow

Locale: Orange County
Re: Re: New: TSS Titanium Field Scapel: Self Sharpening UL Blade: Pre-order price. on 04/03/2012 08:12:02 MDT Print View

I'm in. Never can have too many knives